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The Nigerian e-Commerce sector is a much-touted lucre that has attracted a lot of gamers.
The rising curiosity is buoyed by the rise in a youthful inhabitants, rising smartphone and web penetration, the aspirational mind-set of the common Nigerian and increasing shopper energy. At current, e-Commerce spending in Nigeria is on the rise. Research estimates point out that present spend on e-Commerce is at $12 billion, with the determine anticipated to rise larger and even projected to achieve $75 billion in revenues every year by 2025.
Despite the attract, the fact of cracking e-Commerce in Nigeria and in Africa, by extension, stays a process far faraway from the exertions of the faint-hearted.
Indeed, making successful of e-Commerce, because the expertise of many gamers who stumbled in Africa’s greatest market has proven, calls for not solely deep pockets but in addition an enormous dose of street-smartness, a eager understanding of the Nigerian market, a willpower to stay to ethics and play by the principles, in addition to sheer bloody-mindedness in overcoming lots of the irritating infrastructural and institutional encumbrances which have hobbled many on this trade.
Till date, the strides of Konga stay a template for a lot of to observe.
In monitoring the present laudable strides of this e-Commerce behemoth, it’s crucial to acknowledge and respect the efforts of many gamers who’ve toiled however discovered the Nigerian e-Commerce market too excessive a mountain to climb. The likes of Jiji, OLX, DealDey and Efritin, amongst many others, have a story or two to inform in regards to the onerous nut that e-Commerce in Nigeria represents.
Though it additionally has a factor or two to share in regards to the pitfalls of enjoying in a tough terrain akin to Nigeria, Konga has remodeled itself, underneath the administration of its new homeowners – the Zinox Group – right into a a lot sought-after entity, the attractive bride of potential e-Commerce traders and world inventory markets. Recently, Konga was reported to have fielded curiosity from the New York Stock Exchange in addition to the London Stock Exchange over a purported itemizing, as curiosity swirled within the firm from close to and much. Also, feelers within the trade point out that many want to purchase into the enterprise and if Konga have been to listing its shares right this moment, it will most likely not solely get oversubscribed but in addition end in a unicorn valuation.
The submission of a current panel of consultants on the Konga model is price recalling right here, with Prof. Bouba Yankubah, one of many panellists, portray an image of a thriving e-Commerce model throughout the session which held in Accra, Ghana.
Prof. Yankubah was quoted as saying: ‘‘It is strange that not much has been said of how much impact Konga has had in the Nigerian, nay African e-Commerce ecosystem. But lest we forget, that is the brand that pioneered the marketplace structure in Africa which was widely replicated by other brands, not only in Africa but also by the likes of Amazon as well.
‘‘The…case of Konga as the jewel in the crown of African e-Commerce is further justified by its thriving business entities which include a licensed mobile bank, online travel agency, its omni-channel strategy, the ease with which it has resolved the thorny challenge of logistics as well as its hard-earned status as a trustworthy brand.
‘‘It is interesting that, despite the huge investment by its new owners, which from reports in the Nigerian media, are highly credible and experienced entrepreneurs, the brand is yet to follow through on rumoured intentions to list on the international stock market. If and when this happens, Konga’s valuation might exceed effectively over $2.5bn and we might even see the emergence of a real African unicorn.
‘‘But I wish to urge the owners of Konga not to be tempted by greed and to stay true to their strategies and long-term vision for the business,’’ he had acknowledged.
In my line of labor as an analyst masking the African e-Commerce market, I’ve seen many promising e-Commerce start-ups flatter to deceive. Konga has stayed the course and at present enjoys the arrogance of a rising variety of Nigerians as the largest participant available in the market.
But what’s Konga doing proper?
First, the administration of Konga has demonstrated an in depth understanding of the market – a bonus that continues to assist it navigate coverage somersaults and different dangers related to the peculiar Nigerian market. This is principally because of the expertise of the present homeowners of Konga who’re extensively reported to be credible Nigerians who’ve been in enterprise for over 30 profitable years. Today, Konga is healthier geared up, greater than another e-Commerce participant to tackle and efficiently ship giant tasks or discover a resolution to essentially the most tough infrastructural problem in Nigeria. Even if Amazon or Alibaba have been to broaden their operations to Nigeria, they’d wrestle to beat Konga and should need to accept a partnership with them.
Two, Konga has strategically invested in constructing a world-class infrastructure from the bottom up which has equally elevated its many choices. In the realm of expertise, Konga boasts maybe probably the most superior expertise suites in Nigeria, starting from the multiplicity of apps driving its day-to-day operations and a reported robotics-enabled a number of warehouse deployments. Closely aligned to that is its funding in huge regional warehouses – a mission that has conveniently positioned it to retain enormous stock, considerably boosted its carrying capability, in addition to its orders fulfilment capabilities.
In addition, one of many main benefits that Konga holds in its struggle chest is the truth that it has seemingly resolved the problem of logistics – one of many greatest obstacles and pain-points of e-Commerce, not solely in Nigeria, however in Africa, as effectively. Konga, I perceive, has its personal internally owned logistics firm which, from stories within the media, has the capability to deal with deliveries to the final mile for Konga in addition to for exterior events. Kxpress, as the corporate is thought, is alleged to have in its arsenal a rising fleet of vans, buses, bikes and different autos which it places to make use of in serving the market and navigating the traffic-challenged nooks and crannies of the most important cities and hinterlands in Nigeria.
Furthermore, there’s a sense that, with Konga, ethics can by no means be sacrificed on the altar of egocentric beneficial properties. The travails of one other well-known participant within the trade additional justifies the Konga hallmark of moral rectitude. There isn’t any place for cooking the books or falsifying figures to color a misleading image to prospects or potential traders. This is a high quality that has put the enterprise on a sound footing, particularly in its dealings with all of its stakeholders.
Worth mentioning as effectively is the truth that Konga has remained an instance of reliability and responsive buyer expertise. From the private experiences of myself, skilled colleagues, different trade acquaintances in addition to nearly all of opinions sampled, Konga stands heads and shoulders above its friends when it comes to its method to assembly the expectations of shoppers. There is zero tolerance for pretend or substandard objects on its platforms, with the corporate holding excessive its promise of creating accessible solely real merchandise which it sources straight from producers. Merchants who commerce on its platform, by extension, additionally key into this custom. Defaulters are blacklisted whereas points are dealt with swiftly by an inner unit which has a deadline for resolutions.
Aligned with KongaPay, a Central Bank of Nigeria-licensed cellular cash platform, a rising chain of brick-and-mortar shops dotting Nigeria’s panorama and accounting for the numerous who nonetheless want to expertise e-Commerce the normal approach; in addition to a lot of thriving entities underneath the Konga secure, there isn’t a wanting again for this highly effective retail big.
It is barely a matter of time earlier than the administration of Konga caves into the massive strain of hitting the worldwide inventory market.
The world awaits with bated breath…
Dr. Aje Boluwatife is a visiting analysis scholar from the United States